State Senate Looks at Underage Drinking Bill | VideoJessica Roose | 3/13/2013
Most people can agree that underage drinking is a problem that needs to be addressed. However, they don`t all agree at who is to blame when it happens.
"I`m putting the blame here on the people who are selling as you did in this, but bigger blame is the parents that are raising these children," said Senator Stanley Lyson (R) from Williston.
The bill sponsor says parents would be held responsible if they were caught supplying their child or anyone else underage with alcohol and they would face the stiffer penalties. But the biggest concern by members of the committee was over the Class C felony charge that suppliers and those who use fake ID`s would face on a third offense.
"For life, if they have a felony on their record, they`re going to have some very distinct disadvantages throughout life, if they get to that stage," said Senator Carolyn Nelson (D) from Fargo.
"Hopefully the second time they`re going to realize they had a stiffer penalty and they`re going to look and say if I do this again I`m going to have some very severe consequences," said Representative Chuck Damschen (R) from Hampden.
The first offense calls for a Class B misdemeanor with 40 hours of community service and a $500 fine. If caught a second time, an offender would face 80 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine.
The committee did not take any action on the bill this morning.